Friday, July 31, 2015

Bring Your Friend to Work Day

Today was bring your friend to work day, so I invited my friend Katie. It was so much fun showing her all the labs and the campus, and I think she's beginning to like science more! We ate lunch outside again like we do every Friday, and we worked on some more designs afterwards.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bike Trip!

This morning, Nate and I glued together the foam pieces and looked at ways to solve the super saturation of  the images we took for our test. After, everyone went on a "leisurely" bike ride to Mt Hope cemetery and a sub shop. This was pretty much my first time on a bike so it was definitely challenging, but a lot of fun! After we cooled off with some AC and some water, I cleaned up the place for bring-your-friend-to-work day, which is tomorrow!


Title: Schlieren Imaging System

Background/ Principals                
-Reflection vs. Refraction
-Basic Setup (with and without air pocket)
-Camera focuses on mirror

-Original system
-Our Solutions/designs

Final Design
-Video of Assembly
-Possible additions (iPhone/Color Wheel)
-Before and after pictures

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Today, Nate and I drew some more designs for our metal and Plexiglas box. Then we had pizza for lunch and listened to an interesting talk about wild fires. After, we thought about more ideas when Bob and Joe came in with a giant box of foam and a container for our system! (Thank You!) We then cut the foam and put all the parts inside. Our next step is to finish up the gray scale test and fix our essay and final presentation.

Overcoming a Hurdle

On Tuesday, Nate and I worked on different ideas further and designed both on inventor. One incorporates a suitcase, while the other one uses a plastic box with wheels and a handle. We showed both ideas to Gary and he liked them, but the next issue was the price. The box and the suitcase are around the same price ($35), but the foam that is placed in the inside is around $50. Gary told us we should get the price down to around $60, but it is almost impossible if we need both foam and a box. To accomplish this hurdle, Nate and I are thinking about building our own box out of the materials we were given, which includes screws, metal bars, and any scrap materials we can find. It's difficult trying to build a box that is lightweight, sturdy, and has wheels. We will try to brainstorm more ideas on Wednesday. Nate, Trevor, and I also visited Yiquin and Kevin's lab, and their 3D camera is coming together pretty well! It is so cool how they built a working 3D camera out of tiny computers, also known as Raspberry Pis, batteries, and two lenses!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Correcting and Fixing

Today Nate and I read the constructive criticism Aly and Gary wrote on our essay. We spent a lot of time correcting errors and adding details to our essay. We also searched for containers to package the system into. Then we designed an insert for one of the containers on inventor. Tomorrow we will show Gary and Aly our work and hopefully we can purchase a container soon!


On Friday, Nate and I finalized our essay and presentation to show Aly and Gary. Then we ate lunch outside and played volley ball with the other interns. After, we presented to the graduate students and they gave us constructive criticism and new projects to complete. We were given new materials and supplies to build an iPhone holder and perform an experiment that measures contrast in the images we took.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Today, Nate and I worked discussed ideas for packing the Schlieren System to make it portable. We looked at some boxes and we figured out that we need to work on our design more. We also started a power point to show Aly and Gary tomorrow. We also showed Tommy our lab and experiments. Later, I went to Jason and John's lab to try the eye tracking glasses. They didn't work on me so I went back to the lab and finished working on our final paper.


On Wednesday, I worked on finding a box for the system and though of other designs. For lunch we went to this really interesting lecture about remote sensing and ate pizza. After, I went to Javas and had a raspberry lemonade drink.


On Tuesday, I worked out in the gym in the morning. When I came to the lab, we wrote more of our final essay and worked on our presentation. After, we took a field trip to the observatory which was amazing! The sky only got completely dark about 30 minutes before we left, but we saw a satellite and the milky way. It was also cool to get to know everyone a bit more!


On Monday, I showed Nate what I had worked on during the past few days. We talked about other ideas and we finished building the color filter wheel.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Relaxing, but Productive Day

Today was a very relaxing day, but very productive. In the morning, we peer reviewed our abstracts. The other interns and instructors agreed that Nate and I should combine our abstracts into one, because there were some parts missing from mine that were in his, and vise versa. After, I came to our lab and I set up the Schlieren system with all the parts and it worked perfectly. As a bonus, it was extremely easy to set up! I then decided to try to make a prototype for the color wheel idea, which uses color filters to enhance the image. I showed the prototype to Aly and she thought it was really cool! I then glued some parts together and drew some diagrams of possible ideas. Lunch was also very fun playing volley ball and eating as a group. It was hilarious how the picnic table almost tipped over! When Nate gets back, I think we will get the pieces for the phone holder and write more of our final essay. (Pictured is the color wheel prototype attached to the working Schlieren System)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Trial and Success!

Today was another busy day! This morning I tried to get the hinge idea to work, so I built a 3D model on inventor. Inventor actually liked me today, which is unusual, and the hinge I built on the computer moved like an actual hinge! Then I did a bunch of calculations to see if the idea would work, and it did for the most part except the hinge would still not close properly. Then we went to Global Village for lunch. After I came back, I showed Gary and Aly the idea, and they thought it was really good! After talking it over with them, I had a Eureka moment and I moved the pieces around, and doing so, it solved all of our problems! We got rid of the hinge completely and interconnected the pieces. Coincidentally, the alignment was just perfect so we didn't even have to make any more cuts to the length. I just had to move around the pieces under the mirror, and this is when I discovered making the Schlieren System is a two person job, because it is extremely difficult to hold the 20 pound mirror upside down while trying to screw bolts into the frame with only two hands. After I got the pieces adjusted, I went to the machine shop and got holes made by the same college student who cut our parts yesterday. All we need are some longer screws and the portable Schlieren System will be complete! (Pictured tis the hinge I built on inventor next the the actual hinge).

Abstract- 7/16

      The Schlieren Imaging System allows one to capture the different substances in air that light passes through: even if not visible to the human eye. Our objective is to build a more portable Schlieren System, which will enable the device to be transported more easily to show others how cool optics really is. We were also tasked to make the system “cooler” so we are planning on creating an add on piece that will allow viewers to place their phone inside and record the image.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Trial and Error

Today was an extremely busy day. In the morning, I drew an idea Nate and I created to incorporate a hinge into our setup. I used the entire white board, made dozens of calculations and measurements and then I showed it to Gary. He liked the idea so I made measurements on a rod we were given for it to be cut. Then we had pizza for lunch and looked at some cool college projects. After, Gary and I went to the machine shop to have the parts cut and made. A really nice college student helped us cut the pieces and she did an excellent job! I came back to our lab and discovered that the hinge was very wobbly, which was really, really bad. Gary thought of just sticking to the hinge and creating another prototype that doesn't use a hinge, but I want to see if we can still use the cut pieces and create something that doesn't use a hinge and won't be wobbly. After Gary left, I decided to draw the cut piece on inventor. Tomorrow, I will try to build another piece that we will add on using inventor that will hopefully solve our problem. (Pictured is a mechanical engineering student learning how to change the blade on a ban saw, if you look closely, you can see the sparks created from the blade).

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day 7

Today we wrote our abstract for the Schlieren System. We also attended a college students defense about satellites and taking pictures of the earth.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Building A New Setup

Today, we brainstormed some more designs and actually built one of them! We made it more portable by using less bars and we also removed the bulky legs. After getting it checked out, Nate and I plan to cut some of the pieces and complete our design. Later we made some better demos using our new setup.

Day 5

On Friday, Nate and I worked on Inventor for the majority of the day bringing to life one of our designs. This took about 3 hours to put together but it turned out great! We went outside for lunch and had a cook out which was really fun. We played volleyball against the college students, and afterwards, we presented our progress to Aly and Gary. They gave us constructive criticism that we took into account.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


We worked on some more ideas for making the Schlieren System more portable. We also did test to see if we could obtain a clearer image by moving the "knife edge" around. We found that when it covers about 50% of the light reflected onto it, the image is the clearest. Nate and I also tried other filters and showed our machine to some of the other interns who thought it was pretty cool! (This is an image of our set up at the moment)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Brain Storming

Today we brainstormed more ideas and drew a few of them. The one we drew came out to using the exact same materials so we were challenged to think of other ways that would not use the heavy rails the system is set up on. We thought of a tripod idea, but it may be too simple.

Building the Schlieren System

Yesterday, We did some fun team building activities in the morning. Nate and I built the Schlieren System. It did not take long to set it up but we could see that it was not very portable. We started brainstorming ideas to enable us to bring the system to other places easily. Some of these ideas included cutting the bars that make the system in thirds and putting hinges on the rails so we can carry it easier. We also tried some demos using fire, ice and our hands. We are very ahead of schedule!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Day One: Research

Today we toured the RIT Imaging Science building and learned what projects are being created here. Nate and I started researching our project which is to build a portable Schlieren Imaging System and we were also introduced to Aly and Gary who are graduate students!